Secretary of the provincial Vinh Long Party Committee Tran Van Ron (L) presents a gift to monks of Hanh Phuc Tang Pagoda on April 12 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Leaders of southern Vinh Long province and Can Tho city on April 12 extended congratulations to local Khmer people on the ethnic group’s traditional New Year festival, Chol Chnam Thmay.

Secretary of the Vinh Long provincial Party Committee Tran Van Ron visited the provincial Association for Solidarity of Patriotic Buddhist Monks and Hanh Phuc Tang Pagoda in Vung Liem district, wishing Khmer monks and people a happy traditional New Year festival.

Briefing the participants about the province’s socio-economic development in 2017 and the first quarter of this year, he stressed that those accomplishments were greatly contributed by Khmer people.

Venerable Son Ngoc Huynh, Chairman of the Vinh Long Association for Solidarity of Patriotic Buddhist Monks, appreciated the provincial authorities’ attention to the material and spiritual lives of the Khmer community, especially during the Chol Chnam Thmay festival. 

He said the association will together with the province continue maintaining the great national unity bloc and encouraging Khmer people to keep solidarity and trust in the Party and State’s leadership and to support each other in economic activities.

On this occasion, Vinh Long leaders also presented gifts to the Hanh Phuc Tang Pagoda and disadvantaged Khmer families.

Also on April 12, the Fatherland Front Committee of Can Tho city held a meeting with local monks and Khmer people on the threshold of Chol Chnam Thmay.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Van Tam congratulated them on the traditional festival, asking relevant agencies to promote the great national unity bloc and push ahead with poverty reduction plans. He also called on religious dignitaries and prestigious persons to further help build a better life in the community.

Most Venerable Dao Nhu, head of the executive board of Can Tho’s Khmer Theravada Buddhism Committee, thanked the municipal administration’s attention to the Khmer traditional festival. He also highly valued the city’s support for local Khmer people, particularly policies on Khmer cultural value preservation.

Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals of the Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year. This year’s event will take place from April 14-16.-VNA